Where are they Now? Series: 2013 Walla Walla Sweets

A Division Title and Two Future MLB Players Headline The 2013 Sweets Season

By Brandon Monty | Feb 26, 2021

The next edition of the Where are they Now? Series looks at what may be the greatest Sweets team in the history of the organization in the 2013 squad.

Following a 2012 season that fell short of expectations, the Sweets roared back in 2013 for a season to remember on and off the field. In a newly-aligned North Division, the Sweets were relatively .500 throughout the year before going on an unprecedented 8-game winning streak to end the year 31-22. The Sweets won the division by two games.

At the start of the season, the Sweets continued their tradition of hosting unique, community-centered events. Walla Walla hosted The Battle of the Badge, an event that featured a baseball game between the Walla Walla Police vs. Fire. The event raised over $24,000 for charities and non-profit organizations.

The Sweets were once again in the top-50 in the nation in attendance for collegiate summer baseball teams, and those fans witnessed an excellent, tightly-contested WCL race. Three different teams were in first at one point during the season, including Walla Walla.

While the Sweets were knocked down in the wildcard round by the Wenatchee AppleSox, there were plenty of great things to reflect on. Nine players were selected to the WCL All-Star Game, including six pitchers and three position players.

On top of being top-50 in attendance, the Sweets were also ranked 41st by Baseball America in the collegiate summer baseball rankings. Cody Poteet was named a top prospect by Baseball America as well, as the UCLA product helped lead the Sweets to their best record in franchise history.

Poteet wasn’t the only elite talent that took the mound for the Sweets that season. Missouri State product Matt Hall was one of two Sweets to continue his major league career in the summer of 2020. Hall is one of many members of the 2013 team that has enjoyed a strong professional career of baseball.

Pitchers

# Player B/T Ht Wt College Class Hometown Draft Status Player Eligibility
31 Joe Arlt L/L 6-3 195 Central Washington U Senior Spokane Valley, WA
46 Sean-Luke Brija R/R 5-11 190 Gonzaga U Junior Reno, NV
20 Drew Christina L/L 6-2 180 Walla Walla CC Junior Walla Walla, WA
35 Connor Dillman R/R 6-1 175 Emory U Junior Santa Monica, CA
22 Matt Hall L/L 6-1 190 Sophomore
3 Jonathan Harris R/R 6-4 160 Missouri St U Sophomore Florrisant, MO
9 Bret Helton R/R 6-3 190 Utah (U of) Sophomore Colorado Springs, CO
27 Taylor Jones R/R 6-7 188 Gonzaga U Sophomore Kent, WA
1 Connor Lawhead R/R 5-8 160 Indiana U – Purdue U Senior Sammamish, WA
17 Chris Lovejoy L/L 6-6 185 Ball St U Senior Concord, CA
13 Cody Poteet R/R 6-1 180 California Los Angeles (U of) Sophomore Bonita, CA
55 Sean Silva L/L 5-10 185 Southern California (U of) Senior Fresno, CA
23 Josh Wagner L/R 6-0 190 Northern Colorado (U of) Junior Newhall, CA
21 Danny Zandona R/R 6-1 175 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Junior Santa Barbara, CA

Catchers

# Player B/T Ht Wt College Class Hometown Draft Status Player Eligibility
37 Renae Martinez R/R 6-1 185 California Irvine (U of) Sophomore San Pedro, CA
40 Dominic Miroglio R/R 6-0 195 California Los Angeles (U of) Freshman Oakland, CA
30 Zach Reay R/R 6-2 180 Treasure Valley CC Junior Blackfoot, ID
16 Jake Wylie R/R 6-0 205 Linfield Col Senior Eagle, ID

Infielders

# Player B/T Ht Wt College Class Hometown Draft Status Player Eligibility
32 Jarod Gonzales L/R 5-11 225 Walla Walla CC Sophomore Kennewick, WA
15 Matt Mendenhall R/R 6-2 196 Washington St U Sophomore Kennewick, WA
2 Scott Silva R/R 5-9 165 Gonzaga U Sophomore Fresno, CA
11 John Skrbec R/R 6-1 185 North Dakota St U Junior Grand Rapids, MN
4 Reggie Southall S/R 6-0 170 Southern California (U of) Sophomore Gardena, CA
10 Nick Vilter R/R 6-3 220 California Riverside (U of) Senior Seal Beach, CA

Outfielders

# Player B/T Ht Wt College Class Hometown Draft Status Player Eligibility
6 Beau Bozett R/R 6-0 184 Gonzaga U Junior Spokane, WA
41 Jono Herkins R/R 6-0 180 California Irvine (U of) Sophomore Cypress, CA
19 Jesse Houser R/R 5-10 170 Walla Walla CC Sophomore Kennewick, WA
39 Kramer Lindell R/R 6-1 185 Linfield Col Senior West Linn, OR
5 Spencer ONeil L/R 6-4 205 Central Arizona Col Sophomore Kennewick, WA
24 Kris Paulino L/R 6-0 180 California Irvine (U of) Junior Ladera Ranch, CA,CA
44 Mike Paulson L/L 6-0 205 New Mexico St U Senior Sammamish, WA
14 Luke Persico R/R 6-2 170 California Los Angeles (U of) Freshman Santa Clarita, CA

Staff

# Name
7 J.C. Biagi Manager
10 Rob Holtzinger Assistant Coach
57 Mark Michaud Pitching Coach

STANDINGS

League: Season: Summer 2013

Team W L PCT GB STREAK LAST 10
Walla Walla Sweets 31 22 0.585 8W 8-2
Wenatchee AppleSox 29 24 0.547 2 1L 6-4
Bellingham Bells 27 27 0.500 4.5 1L 3-7
Victoria HarbourCats 22 32 0.407 9.5 1W 3-7
Kelowna Falcons 19 35 0.352 12.5 1W 3-7

ALL-STARS:

  • C Renae Martinez (UC-Irvine)
  • OF Kramer Lindell (Linfield)
  • 1B Matt Mendenhall (Washington State)
  • Sean-Luke Brija (Gonzaga)
  • Matt Hall (Missouri State)
  • Sean Silva (USC),
  • Chris Lovejoy (Ball State)
  • Cody Poteet (UCLA)
  • Bret Helton.  (Utah). Helton was also the starting pitcher for the North in the All-Star Game.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

  • Sean Luke Brija currently serves as a firefighter at Eastside Fire and Rescue in the Seattle area
  • Matt Hall went 5-2 during the summer of 2013, striking out 45 batters with an impressive ERA of 2.25.  He was drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft by the Detroit Tigers. He made his first MLB start at Fenway Park this past summer and struck out Pete Alonso.
  • Jon Harris is currently in Triple-A as a member of the Buffalo Bison, an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Bret Helton made it up to the Double-A Altoona Curve in 2018. In 2020, he pitched for the Fargo Moorhead RedHawks out of the independent American Association of Professional Baseball.
  • Taylor Jones, who was a pitcher for the Sweets, hit a home run this past season with the Houston Astros and picked up four hits and three runs.
  • Chris Lovejoy played one season of independent baseball following his graduation from Ball State.
  • Cody Poteet was recently invited to Spring Training for the Miami Marlins as a non-roster invitee. He has a 3.87 ERA in six minor league seasons.
  • Danny Zandona played two seasons of minor league baseball for the Lowell Spinners, the lower Single-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
  • Renae Martinez is currently a member of the Amarillo Sod Poodles, the Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Dominic Miroglio was recently invited to Spring Training for the Arizona Diamondbacks as a non-roster invitee.
  • Nick Vilter played three seasons in the minor league baseball, making it to Double-A in the Rangers organization.
  • Luke Persico is currently listed on the voluntarily retired list for the Midland Rockhounds, the Double-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. He was a career .260 hitter across five minor league seasons.

 

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